In a Republican party where no one is ever pure enough and it seems every incumbent legislator is facing a challenge from the far right, let’s take the time to meet one of those candidates. Richard H. “Dick” Black is a Virginia state senator challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, a dreaded “moderate” (meaning he probably wants gay people to merely beaten with sticks, not ritually disembowled). Mother Jones has a rundown of some of Black’s extremist views.
After taking a drubbing in last year’s state elections, Virginia Republicans are debating whether their party has come to be defined by its extremists. But in a congressional district in Northern Virginia, one of the state’s main instigators of culture warfare, state Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black, is running in the Republican primary to replace longtime GOP moderate Rep. Frank Wolf, who is retiring. And he’s guaranteed to ignite wedge-issue passion. Exhibit A: As a state legislator, Black opposed making spousal rape a crime, citing the impossibility of convicting a husband accused of raping his wife “when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth.”…
The 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, for example, inspired Black to suggest legislation requiring Virginia students to address their teachers as “Ma’am,” “Sir,” “Mr.,” “Ms.,” or “Mrs.,” because, Black explained, “The counterculture revolution of the ’70s took the war into the classroom. Before that time, public schools were a model of decorum, and then we began this thing we’ve seen play out at Columbine.”In 2003, Black led a fight to prevent a statue of Abraham Lincoln seated with his son Tad from gracing the grounds of the Tredegar Iron Works, a Civil War-era foundry that supplied the Confederate army with cannons. “Putting a statue to [Lincoln] there is sort of like putting the Confederate flag at the Lincoln Memorial,” Black told the Washington Post, adding that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC ought to be enough. Black even asked the Virginia Attorney General, Republican Jerry Kilgore, to investigate whether any state laws prohibited the National Park Service, which leases Tredegar, from erecting the statue. (None did.)
In 2002, as the Virginia general assembly repealed a ban on spousal rape prosecution, Blackwondered if it was really possible for a husband to rape his wife. He said changing the law could cause a man “enormous fear of the damage to his reputation” if his wife ever filed a false rape claim.
Sounds like he’ll fit right in to the House Republican Caucus these days.